II. The High Priestess

When I looked up the third card of the Majors in the Shadowscapes deck, I got really confused. I realized when looking at the webpage that I have never actually drawn this card in a reading in the several years I have had the deck. So, trying to figure out what to write for this week and mulling on the meaning of the card for myself and my path was difficult, to say the least.

02_TheHighPriestess
The High Priestess Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

There have been a lot of developments in the last week here at my place. I’ve come closer to finishing several of my shrines to my deities and things have come to pass that have allowed me to purchase books to continue my studies of my various deities and further develop my practice. I now have Persephone Unveiled, which coincidentally arrived today; Bearing Torches, a devotional anthology for Hekate; The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, and Faeries, a book I have actually used in some of my former college papers; Queen of the Sacred Way, another devotional, this one in honor of Persephone; and several Kindle books, including Hekate: Liminal Rites, Hekate: Her Sacred Fires, The Temple of Hekate, T. Thorn Coyle’s Crafting A Daily Practice, and A Druid’s Tale.

As I mentioned in my first Tarot-themed entry, I have been reading Coyle’s Evolutionary Witchcraft as well. Her writings, while focused on the Feri tradition, have inspired me to think more about some aspects of my path. These ideas I will get into in later entries, after I have finished the book. (I have also started working through her Crafting A Daily Practice, which I find a little less applicable, but I am not very far in the text just yet.)

All of these, however, have gotten me on the path towards the High Priestess. In the Shadowscapes Tarot, she is accompanied by the owl, a noted keeper of knowledge; that same bird bears a key in its claws, with which he shall unlock various mysteries. Until then, though, these mysteries remain elusive and unlearned, the same status that I currently find myself in. In her hand, too, she bears the pomegranate fruit, sliced open, its shocking red seeds born for all to see. Fallen, yellow leaves adorn her belt of twigs and grasses, signifying autumn, the season of change.

I haven’t talked much about my relationship with Persephone here, but a key aspect of it is that she has urged, in various ways, for me to pursue shadow work of various kinds, both mundane and magical. In the last year and a half, I have been in therapy to deal with the psychological issues I have struggled with for much of my life. I have also begun, slowly, to do my own psychological delving – or, possibly, traveling – in order to deal with my issues and problems. Facing my flaws has been a key theme of this year, and I have Persephone to thank for pushing me that way. (Though, quite frankly, The Morrigan threw me on the beginnings of this path years ago.)

This card, despite its lack of presence in the past, has struck me now that I sit here to write on my thoughts and developments associated with it. In a way, it encompasses exactly what I am attempting to do: better myself through self-education, improve my interactions with myself and those around me, develop a stronger spiritual practice, and to honor my gods the way they have honored me throughout my life. But, most significantly, it is change, as denoted through the autumn leaves hanging from the Priestess’s belt.

When I first began thinking of devoting specific online presences for my spiritual path, whatever it is, I struggled with a name for what I was doing. There is no name for the path that I follow; it simply is a wandering journey through a dark forest in many respects. But as I tried to figure out what, exactly, I was looking for, it started to become a little more clear.

Change has always occurred in my practice. Anyone who has known me for a while religiously or spiritually, or anyone who has followed the various blogs I have started and abandoned over the years can attest to this. I refuse to remain stagnant; I am a spiritual nomad, of a sort. I always want to grow and develop. Autumn is the strongest symbol of this for me, with its progression from the lush green of spring and summer to the cold and harsh depths of winter. It is the fiery time when the earth explodes with color and reminds us of the need to shake off the old to make way for the new; it is the time of winds that push us down paths we may not have normally come across. It is also my favorite time of year, the season during which I spend most of my time in contemplation of my spiritual life, a tradition I began years ago. But I am always seeking, always searching. This, in effect, harkens back to the change symbolism of autumn. I cannot ever be satisfied, and so I am always in pursuit of more, whatever it may be. What better way to describe this than with a hunt?

And, so, we get the Autumn Hunt, the name I have more or less begun to call my path, though this is the first time I have admitted it to others. Or, even, myself.

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